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Cecelia Foxley

Past College of Education  Advancement Board Member

Cece FoxleyAfter having served for over 10 years as Commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education and Chief Executive Officer to the State Board of Regents, Dr. Cecelia ("Cece") H. Foxley completed a three-year Regents Professorship in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Utah. Prior to her appointment to the position of Commissioner, she served as the Deputy Commissioner, and the Associate Commissioner for Academic Affairs. Her institutional experience also includes faculty and administrative positions at Utah State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Minnesota. Early in her academic career, she taught honors English at the high school level.

Dr. Foxley earned the Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with emphases in Administration, Teaching, Research, and Counseling from the University of Utah. She completed a post-doctoral internship with the National Training Laboratories Institute for Applied Behavioral Science. She holds a B.A. in English from Utah State University and an M.A. in English from the University of Utah.

Dr. Foxley has been a behavioral science, management, organization development, program evaluation, equal opportunity, and executive search consultant to a variety of education, business, civic, and government organizations and agencies. She has authored or co-authored six books and several journal articles on topics such as educational leadership and administration, non-sexist counseling, human relations education, and equal opportunity.

Dr. Foxley was active in the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) national organization and served as the 1998–1999 SHEEO President. At the time she stepped down from the Utah Commissioner post, she was the longest serving SHEEO in the U.S. She also served as a Commissioner of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and the Education Commission of the States (ECS).

Currently, Dr. Foxley is involved in philanthropic and consulting activities. She serves on the United Way of Salt Lake City Board of Directors, and is the founding President of ARCS Utah Chapter, which is affiliated with the ARCS National Foundation. ARCS raises funds for outstanding graduate students in engineering, science and medicine. She is also a member of the U of U “Together We Reach” Campaign Cabinet, representing the College of Education. In this capacity, she has been helping to raise funds for the new Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex. Her consulting activities include the higher education system in the United Arab Emirates, and several U.S. state systems of higher education.

Dr. Foxley is the widow of Dr. Arthur Edward Smith, former Vice President of the American College Testing Program, and is the mother of Stacy Kay Firth, stepmother of Eric Smith, Alex Smith, and Jennifer Luff. She also has seven grandchildren, which bring her much joy and happiness.

Last Updated: 3/15/21